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0 Q&A 422 Views Dec 5, 2023

The innate immune system can remember previous inflammatory insults, enabling long-term heightened responsiveness to secondary immune challenges in a process termed “trained immunity.” Trained innate immune cells undergo metabolic and epigenetic remodelling and, upon a secondary challenge, provide enhanced protection with therapeutic potential. Trained immunity has largely been studied in innate immune cells in vitro or following ex vivo re-stimulation where the primary insult is typically injected into a mouse, adult zebrafish, or human. While highly informative, there is an opportunity to investigate trained immunity entirely in vivo within an unperturbed, intact whole organism. The exclusively innate immune response of larval zebrafish offers an attractive system to model trained immunity. Larval zebrafish have a functional innate immune system by 2 days post fertilisation (dpf) and are amenable to high-resolution, high-throughput analysis. This, combined with their optical transparency, conserved antibacterial responses, and availability of transgenic reporter lines, makes them an attractive alternative model to study trained immunity in vivo. We have devised a protocol where β-glucan (one of the most widely used experimental triggers of trained immunity) is systemically delivered into larval zebrafish using microinjection to stimulate a trained-like phenotype. Following stimulation, larvae are assessed for changes in gene expression, which indicate the stimulatory effect of β-glucan. This protocol describes a robust delivery method of one of the gold standard stimulators of trained immunity into a model organism that is highly amenable to several non-invasive downstream analyses.

Key features

• This protocol outlines the delivery of one of the most common experimental stimulators of trained immunity into larval zebrafish.

• The protocol enables the assessment of a trained-like phenotype in vivo.

• This protocol can be applied to transgenic or mutant zebrafish lines to investigate cells or genes of interest in response to β-glucan stimulation.

Graphical overview

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